Pros: laid back, non fatiguing 70's fun
Fischer Audio Tandem
I was recently able to hear a loaner pair of Fischer Audio Tandem’s and was so impressed, I ended up buying a pair off another head-fier. The FA Tandem is a dual micro dynamic driver phone, which retails for $130.
It comes with a velveteen pouch and abundant selection of tips. I often prefer pouches for stuffing in a jacket or jean pocket but this is a pretty cheap pouch, so I picked up a MEElectronics case to carry them in. Even with the plethora of tips, I really didn’t like any and found the best sound with the MEElectronics extra long single flanges (thanks to –y0-). The Hifiman bi-flanges sound very good too. The cable is cloth covered and super flexible; however it can have a lot of microphonics if worn down, so over the ear is recommended; it virtually eliminates any.
Bass is rich and full sounding. Impact is definitely above average. While not having the lowest of the lows, the Tandem does seem to produce more sub bass than mid bass. In comparison to the GR07, the Tandem doesn’t reach as deep or have as much rumble but definitely isn’t lacking and holds its own. In fact there is more bass quantity on the Tandem.
The entire presentation is mid centric without being mid forward; what I mean is that while vocals are front and center and the focus of the presentation, you are not on the stage with musicians. Rather is everything is still has forward projection while retaining focus on the midrange. Mids are liquid and buttery smooth. I wouldn’t use the term lush or wet as they are not overly thick or dense, nor is there any kind of veil. Conversely the GR07 seems to have more upper mid focus and appear edgier compared to the smooth and silky Tandem. The Tandem is wonderful with singer/songwriter and vocal focused music. It produces proper weight to both female and male vocals without sounding too thin or too chesty.
Treble is slightly understated and never fatiguing. I can distinguish cymbal crashes but it is never piercing. I would compare the presentation with the SM3 and W4. The Tandem doesn’t sound as dark as the SM3 and the treble isn’t as detailed as the W4. Cymbal crashes are more upfront on the GR07 and easier to distinguish but definitely sound edgier, if not aggressive, compared directly with the Tandem. It takes a few moments of mental adjustment when switching back and forth. In reality the GR07 is better balanced across the spectrum but the Tandem’s treble presentation really works in its favor for very long listening sessions.
Soundstage is maybe slightly above average in width but very good in depth. Vocalists are in front of drums and sometimes guitars are brought forward and other times to the side and behind based on recording. The Tandem has good layering and placement cues that are easy to pick out. The GR07 sounds comparatively 2D and more aggressive in nature. Instrument separation is average for a dynamic driver. Overall presentation is organic, fluid and natural sounding with really good dynamics.
The GR07 holds a clear edge in transparency and contributes to its very good instrument separation. I think this also helps with its awesome distortion guitar crunch. While the Tandem doesn’t have this same level of transparency, being a step behind, it is by no means congested and boasts a pretty good distortion guitar crunch of its own but it’s definitely a smoother and thicker sounding phone and as a result sounds wonderful with acoustic guitars; further impressing upon you how good they sound with singer/songwriter collections.
The Tandem is a phone not meant to impress you with its detail retrieval or ability to hear instrument nuances. Rather it’s a phone to get lost in the singers intimacy, emotions and words. It’s a phone you put in and completely forget about and instead get lost in the music. More technically proficient phones scream, “Look at me, look what I can do!” The Tandem just says, “Enjoy the music my friend.” The Fischer Audio Tandem receives my open wallet recommendation.
Graphs from inner|fidelity